Rules For Posting To This Blog and Weekly Blog Question

1. Only use your first name (no last names, addresses, IM screen names, etc.)
2. Show respect and consideration of others when posting and commenting. This includes individuals, students, organizations, political parties, colleagues, etc.
3. Check all posts for spelling and grammar errors before posting.
4. Protect the privacy of others. Gain permission from other people before you write about them. Avoid sharing someone else's last name. Use job titles or pseudonyms when writing about experiences with your co-workers or students.
5. Watch your language. Use politically correct and non-offensive language.
6. Make sure you write about things that are factual.
7. Keep your postings education-oriented. Avoid discussing plans for the weekend, etc.

This week I would like you to use your imagination. You have just won the lottery and will leave your teaching post immediately to travel around the world. As you leave your keys you meet your replacement. You are asked to give this new teacher just ONE piece of advice. What would that be, and why? Enjoy your world expedition!

Blog Post - Week 7
This past week in my own teaching I felt a little disconnected which prompts my question to you, "What was the moment (or moments) when I felt most disconnected or disengaged as a teacher - the moment(s) I said to myself, I'm just going through the motions here?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 6
For the past couple of weeks you have experienced asynchronous online learning (doing modules by yourself). Previously this semester you have experienced synchronous online learning (all together in the Collaborate room). Which do you think is more effective and why do you think that? Which do you like better, and why?

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 5
This week we have what we call "open mic." You can write a post about anything related to your teaching that you would like responses from your classmates.

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 4
Here is this week's question: "What was the event that most took me surprise this week - and event that shook me up, caught me off guard, gave me a jolt, or made me unexpectedly happy?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 3
Please write a post about the following question, "In thinking about my past week teaching what is one thing I would do differently, and why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"

Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 1
Describe something you used in your program in the first weeks of school that you learned in the summer NTI program. How did it work? Did it get you off to a stronger start than last year?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Challenge, what challenges?

I tried the Jigsaw Cooperative Learning activity this week! I was also monitored twice this week by the Instructional Coach and a person from the High School Mentoring Team for new teachers. I was already tried and exhausted from last week's HOSA 3 day event and I tried to do jigsaw cooperative learning groups. Well maybe I should say I did the jigsaw learning activity. Deciding on the assignment and task was not too difficult because I was already been doing demonstrations and power point lessons on First Aid. Doing the workup for the Jigsaw learning was the hard part. Once I had explain the purpose of the assignment "300" times, the student finally decided that "she is for real" and began to work on the task. Overall, the students in my second period class did well with the assignment. The first period was too argumentative and did not want to work in groups with certain individuals. They also had the nerves to say ugly things about each other. I "politely" stepped to the back of the classroom with one lady and asked her to kindly stop making those "loud negative remarks" about a very capable young male student. Overall, the cooperative grouping exercise went well as was also expressed by the administrative mentor monitor. He wanted to know what I had told the student when we stepped outside the classroom. He was impressed by how the student returned to the class and her group and never said another negative comment.

The challenge I am facing is keeping all students engaged and completing the tasks given while I am checking off demonstrations during lab activities. And keeping heads on the desk!!! I have tried the strategies learned at NTI this summer. The students are also too noisy and talkative. I've given enrichment exercises related to the lessons being done and of course and the students finish those activities in an accelerated mode. They then want to sit and talk, gossip, fuss, walk, and request restroom breaks while I am trying to checkoff other students. There must be an easier way to do checkoff return demonstrations and keep the rest of the class "ENGAGED" as was stated to me by the Instructional Coach. Some students refuses to participate in the checkoffs (I dare voice how I really feel about that)and then questions why they have a zero for those lab activities.

Overall, challenges are many in a school day. As for me, I will be handling one challenge at a time and looking forward to my third year of teaching. That's supposedly when everything gets better and challenges are fewer.


ConnieB said...

All of us who have skills that are checked off experience this exact same problem. I have only one year experience under my belt but what I am already finding is that I was too ambitious last year with skills check off. I have decreased the amount of skills that will be assigned a grade and therefore need a true check off versus skills we practice as a group just to reinforce learning a concept. I am able to float around the room and give attention to individuals but also can quickly stop and address behavior issues that are going on. All students are practicing and no one has to be doing busy work to keep them quite. I think it is okay to using skills practice just for reinforcement and not be graded. I think that you are already doing exactly everything you can to keep students busy while giving one-on-one attention to the student being checked off. I personally feel you need to be easier on yourself. You may also need to lower your expectation. We need to remember that high school students are still children and not adults. We want to have higher expectations for them then say grade school children but they are not adults or even as mature as those who are in college. We remember ourselves to be mature and our fellow classmates to be able to take skills check off seriously but we were learning these skills in college and knew that it would directly impact our ability to get a job. High school students are not there yet. The last thing that you could tell your students is that if they are not respectful of the stituation then all skills practice and check off will be suspended. If you can't trust your students to behave then you cannot offer them the luxury of getting to do the skills practice. I was told that it was okay to do that by a verterian HSTE teacher of 8 years. She only had to do that a few times because her class was so unruley and untrustworth to behave as she was doing one-on-one skills check off. She said she just had to stop the skills practice and move on.

ITechman said...

I'd have to agree with Connie. It sounds like you are trying to do too much at one time. I had the same issue when I first started teaching where I would leave the school and go straight to bed when I got home because of exhaustion.
Since Connie has already given you a long list of what you can do during group work, here is my 2 cents on bathroom breaks. Give each of your student only 3 emergency breaks to go to the bathroom per semester or term. But you must advise them to make sure that they use it wisely because when they have used it up, that's it. To keep them from using up all of their emergency breaks, I always refer to #1 of my 6 posted classroom procedures, "Tend to all your personal needs before coming to class". Good Luck.